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Monthly Archives: March 2009

kotzebue-in-the-rain1I found this image on Google Images by searching on Kotzebue–this is a view from an apartment where I lived 20 years ago–and much of the junk is still the same as it was then…

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Jefferson County, March 19, 2009

Jefferson County, March 19, 2009

For Robert Adams fans (such as myself), From the Missouri West, published by Aperture in 1984 is an important book–actually, for me, the first book of his I managed to acquire, published when I was beginning to photograph.  The cover image is titled Jefferson County, Colorado, and is of Hogback Ridge, located along Route 93 between Golden and Boulder.  I discovered this site a few years ago when visiting the wind site at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, located just a few miles further north along 93.  Robert Adams also discusses this site in the last essay of Beauty in Photography, published in 1996.  In the Adams photograph, there are cattle grazing in the grasslands to the left of the ridge in the photograph, lending a pastoral balance to the highway on the right–but that space is now devoted to a landfill, filling a mine site and then some.  The fence in the foreground of the more recent photograph is to keep people out of the landfill, and, from previous visits, I think the foreground of the Adams image has been destroyed to make a road cut for the entrance to the landfill.

From Lookout Mountain, near Golden, Colorado, March 19, 2009

From Lookout Mountain, near Golden, Colorado, March 19, 2009

Later in the afternoon, I found the site of a second image from the same book–a view from Lookout Mountain.  I’d gone up to see Buffalo Bill’s grave–I’d photographed a sign to this site from I-70 back in 1985–but I’d never been there–and this site caught me by surprise.  I think the graffiti is different that it was 30 years ago, but the same rock has been marked–and there has been an obvious attempt by public officials to remove graffiti (including inscriptions that must have taken many hours to make) from the rocks.

Paul Shambroom Public Weapons

Paul Shambroom Public Weapons

A new group of photographs from Paul Shambroom–although I must confess to being partial to his nuclear weapons…

Farbanks at 2PM??  Even in December??

Farbanks at 2PM?? Even in December??

It isn’t often that I see a photograph I wish had I made, but this image by Ben Huff is one…  But the image was made clearly at night, which, even in December this is not– 2PM is as bright as it gets–this image must have been made no later than 10AM and no earlier than 4PM–But hat’s off–this sums up the experience of living in the winter in Fairbanks…

Another 3 seconds from my 15 minutes of fame…  A review from Portland…

Every once in a while I do a google search on my own name, just to see if I exist–and I found this link to my most recent published book on a site that looks loosely associated with the Sierra Club.  I feel strangely like I’m using the traditional publishing world (self publishing plus distribution though a university press) to discover how the web is working…  And from that site is a link to the book on Amazon…

I once read an essay, I think it was by Kurt Vonnegut, about how a friend showed him some paintings done one glass, beautiful, and asked him if it was art.  “Who have you showed these to?” Kurt asked.  “No one” was the reply.  “Then it isn’t art” Kurt declared, “because for it to be art, you have to show it to people, it has to become part of a conversation.”

As a photographer, I have met some wonderful other photographers–Robert Adams has become a mentor and a friend, Richard Misrach has several times offered profoundly helpful advice, and I once sent some work to god himself, John Szarkowski, and got a letter back…   And every Tuesday at Pikes Landing in Fairbanks, there is a meeting of local photographers, people sometimes bring new pictures, and sometimes we have really good arguments…  There is joy in making things, but even more joy in sharing them.

The battered truck at Sam's club

The battered truck at Sam's club

I’m slowly learning about my web presence–I’ve been writing (a few) reviews on Amazon.com of books that I’ve aquired and enjoyed over the past few years.  Today I discovered that I have a profile with an RSS feed–and that 14 people looked at my profile over the past 30 days–doesn’t look like my skills as a reviewer have gone viral yet…